The Indonesian government has asked citizens to use masks, especially when they are outdoors, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, starting from 5th April 2020.
The request to wear masks follows the recent change in guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO), said government spokesman for handling coronavirus, Achmad Yurianto.
Prof Wiku Adisasmito of Indonesia’s COVID-19 Task Force explained that there are three types of masks suggested: cloth-based masks are suggested for the general public, with surgical and N95 masks recommended for health professionals.
“According to the results of the study, cloth-based masks can ward off viruses by 70 percent.
Thus, the public is expected to keep their distance of at least one to two metres and stay at home if they do not have any urgent or important activities to do outside,” said Wiku.
Cloth-based masks should have three layers in order to be effective in capturing virus droplets. “To use a cloth-based mask, adjust it according to your face so it’s covering the nose to the chin. Make sure your hands are clean first before using a mask,” he added.
The public can make these cloth-based masks out of clean fabrics, stitched manually or using sewing machines. After use, the mask should be washed using soap and water.
The Executive Director of WHO’s Emergency Programme, Michael J. Ryan, stated that wearing a mask in public may stop someone who is unknowingly infected from spreading the virus.
“There may be situations where the use of masks can reduce the rate at which an infected person can infect another person. This is not an ideal solution in this regard, but it should be considered in the context of a comprehensive strategy to control the disease,” he said.
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